Thanks to being streamed on Netflix alongside its South Korean TV run in tvN from December 2019 to February 2020, a goodly-sized international audience knows and has fallen in love with the quirky and borderline-political K-drama “Crash Landing on You.” Its story about a South Korean heiress and a North Korean border guard falling in love following an accidental DMZ crossing made it a hit, and its lead stars sought-after celebrity endorsers. Smart Communications got lucky with a May ad featuring Hyun Bin, shot during the COVID-19 South Korean lockdown. He never actually went to the Philippines, but his leading lady, after shooting her own Smart commercial, has expressed interest.
According to The Philippine Star, “Crash Landing on You” lead actress Son Ye-jin had been pretty bummed that COVID-19 conditions in both South Korea and the Philippines have not improved enough for her to go shoot her Smart Communications commercial here. This was revealed on her behind-the-scenes video for the Smart Signature ad campaign shown during the mobile telecom company’s recent viewing party. While Ye-jin was happy at the support her Filipino fans have given her in following Hyun Bin to endorse Smart, she was still disappointed at not getting to travel to the country.
Son remarked that she was excited at getting to endorse a Philippine brand out of gratitude for her local fans here. But she did want a chance to meet them personally too. “Actually, I wanted to go to the Philippines and shoot,” she said. “And the fans who love the drama sent me message of support on social media.” Obviously, the ongoing pandemic put such plans on ice, and like her costar Hyun Bin she had to shoot the commercial in South Korea, with the Philippine ad agency and production team working for Smart having to coordinate with the on-site crew online through digital technology.
The actress’ Smart Signature commercial, viewable on the telco’s YouTube channel since August 3, was thematically much like Hyun’s. But where the actor had s sports car, Son Ye-jin instead rode a motorcycle across the conspicuously empty streets of Seoul at night, stopping at intervals to surf on her Smart-powered phone. There is even continuity at work when Hyun Bin’s car pulls up to her towards the end. Likely, it was just the car and “Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok” was not there for the shoot, only made to be (ostensibly) off-screen.
“It’s just so sad that I could not come to see all the fans in person,” Son says at the end of her B-T-S video adding, “But I’m very thankful and happy to be able to meet them in this way.” Smart Signature is Smart Communications’ postpaid branding. Hyun Bin’s earlier commercial was for Smart LTE, and both ads are under the new company slogan “Simplé, (pronounced Filipino-style) Smart Ako.”
Image courtesy of GMA News